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Like all other budding ideas, skateboards were rudimentary at best when they were first constructed. The early 20th century saw all kinds of makeshift contraptions before today’s skateboard emerged, from milk crates to two by fours with wheels screwed to them. While the idea was developing across the decades, the popularity of the sport didn’t explode until the 50s, when surfing was also gaining momentum. Especially in California, when surfing conditions were poor or after a day at the beach, surfers took to the concrete to get their thrills. Skateboarding then continued to evolve at a furious pace since the late 50s, from roller derby to sidewalk skating to the X Games.
Today, skateboarding is both a popular pastime and a viable means of transportation. City, state, and nationally-held competitions such as the X Games, Slam City Jam, Tampa Pro, Oslo Games, and the Copenhagen Pro take place all over the globe with different categories of competition from street to vert. Collectively, these competitions recognize many different kinds of skateboarding, including slalom, downhill, freestyle, pool, and even off road. While skating is an individual sport at the competition level, many competitions are set up on a “team vs team” basis, and several organizations have rallied to coordinate competitions and influence positive changes in the sport. The ASH or Action Sports Hub as well as the Urban Skateboarding Association are two such organizations that have made events like the X Games possible.
The first skateboarding trick, which now serves as the basis for many others, was the ollie. While nobody knows the exact time or place that it was invented, it laid the foundation for the endless tide of kickflips, heelflips, and smith grinds that followed.